Several countries are on the brink of earning a spot in the 2019 Davis Cup after a strong opening day of qualifying.
The United States, Croatia, France, Spain, Argentina and Great Britain are already in the finals, and they will be joined by 12 more teams after this weekend. There are 24 teams battling in a best-of-five series that feature four singles matchups and one doubles competition.
Friday's action featured many of the top players in the world. Here is what you need to know from the first day of competition in the World Group.
Brazil 1, Belgium 1
Serbia 2, Uzbekistan 0
Australia 2, Bosnia and Herzegovina 0
Italy 2, India 0
Germany 2, Hungary 0
Russia 2, Switzerland 0
Kazakhstan 2, Portugal 0
Czech Republic 1, Netherlands 1
Austria 1, Chile 1
Slovakia 1, Canada 1
China 1, Japan 1
Colombia 2, Sweden 0
Germany Puts Its Best Foot Forward
While quite a few countries are trying to advance through the qualifiers without their best players, Germany brought all of its stars. There are four players in the top 60 in the world rankings, led by No. 3 Alexander Zverev.
This doesn't necessarily guarantee victory, but Zverev lived up to expectations with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Peter Nagy. He totaled 11 aces compared to zero from his opponent.
"I think I served pretty well, obviously, kept my focus well," he said after the match, per Jeff Kavanagh of the event's official site. "Davis Cup is always different; there are always tough matches even when opponents aren't ranked that high, and to be my focus to really push from the start and it all worked out well."
His teammate Philipp Kohlschreiber saw what could happen without focus as he needed three sets to get past Zsombor Piros. The No. 31 player in the world lost the first set in a tiebreaker and barely escaped the second set but found a way to pull out the win and help Germany gain a 2-0 lead.
There were some outstanding points throughout the day as well:
Germany will hope its top two players will keep it going Saturday to seal a win.
Slovakia Causes Trouble for Canada
Canada could be a top contender in the Davis Cup finals, but getting there might be a challenge without Milos Raonic.
Denis Shapovalov did his job for Canada with a straight-set win over Filip Horansky. However, Slovakia relied upon its experience in the second match as Martin Klizan earned the win over 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime.
He continues to move up the leaderboard as one of his country's best players ever in this competition:
Klizan won 70 percent of his first serves and 62 percent of his second serves, which was more than enough to come away with the two-set win.
Shapovalov is scheduled to face Klizan on Saturday in a match that could decide the playoff.
Belgium Has Tough Road Back to Quarterfinals
Although Belgium reached the quarterfinals at the Davis Cup last year and reached the finals the year before, Brazil is set to make things difficult for this group.
Thiago Monteiro got the home crowd excited with his easy 6-3, 6-2 win over Arthur De Greef in the first match:
Kimmer Coppejans got Belgium on the board with a win in the second match, but it's clear this won't be an easy victory for the European squad competing on clay courts.
David Goffin, a former hero in the Davis Cup, won't be in action during the qualifying round, which means the younger stars will have to pick up the slack.
Coppejans limited mistakes in his win Friday and will have to do it again Saturday to keep Belgium alive.
Brazil vs. Belgium
- Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares vs. Sander Gille/Joran Viegen
- Thiago Monteiro vs. Kimmer Coppejans
- Rogerio Dutra Silva vs. Arthur De Greef
Serbia vs. Uzbekistan
- Sanjar Fayziev/Denis Istomin vs. Nikola Milojevic/Viktor Troicki
- Denis Istomin vs. Dusan Lajovic
- Sanjar Fayziev vs. Filip Krajinovic
Australia vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina
- John Peers/Jordan Thompson vs. Mirza Basic/Tomislav Brkic
- Alex de Minaur vs. Damir Dzumhur
- John Millman vs. Mirza Basic
Italy vs. India
- Rohan Bopanna/Divij Sharan vs. Simone Bolelli/Marco Cecchinato
- Prajnesh Gunneswaran vs. Andreas Seppi
- Ramkumar Ramanathan vs. Matteo Berrettini
Germany vs. Hungary
- Tim Puetz/Jan-Lennard Struff vs. Gabor Borsos/Peter Nagy
- Alexander Zverev vs. Zsombor Piros
- Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Peter Nagy
Russia vs. Switzerland
- Marc-Andrea Huesler/Henri Laaksonen vs. Evgeny Donskov/Andrey Rublev
- Henri Laaksonen vs. Karen Khachanov
- Marc-Andrea Huesler vs. Daniil Medvedev
Kazakhstan vs. Portugal
- Timur Khabibulin/Aleksandr Nedovyesov vs. Gastao Elias/Joao Sousa
- Mikhail Kukushkin vs. Joao Sousa
- Alexander Bublik vs. Pedro Sousa
Czech Republic vs. the Netherlands
- Adam Pavlasek/Jiri Vesely vs. Matwe Middelkoop/Jean-Julien Rojer
- Jiri Vesely vs. Robin Haase
- Lukas Rosol vs. Tallon Griekspoor
Colombia vs. Sweden
- Juan-Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah vs. Markus Eriksson/Robert Lindstedt
- Daniel Elahi Galan vs. Elias Ymer
- Santiago Giraldo vs. Mikael Ymer
Austria vs. Chile
- Oliver Marach/Jurgen Melzer vs. Julio Peralta/Hans Podlipnik-Castillo
- Dennis Novak vs. Nicolas Jarry
- Jurij Rodionov vs. Christian Garin
Slovakia vs. Canada
- Filip Polasek/Igor Zelenay vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime/Denis Shapovalov
- Martin Klizan vs. Denis Shapovalov
- Filip Horansky vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime
China vs. Japan
- Mao-Xin Gong/Ze Zhang vs. Ben McLachlan/Yasutaka Uchiyama
- Ze Zhang vs. Yoshihito Nishioka
- Zhe Li vs. Taro Daniel